- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 23, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The operator of a tour bus that crashed in San Francisco and injured 20 people failed a surprise post-accident inspection and could be shut down if problems persist, authorities said Wednesday.

The audit of City Sightseeing found 61 violations, including 29 for equipment problems on six buses that were inspected, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. (https://sfg.ly/1Sbx0RE).

State inspectors immediately ordered four of the six buses to be taken out of service for having inoperable emergency exits, faulty brake lamps and in one case, a potentially serious fuel leak.

One of the failed buses also had a steering problem that could have led to a loss of control of the vehicle, the newspaper reported.

The audit prompted the Motor Carrier Safety Unit of the California Highway Patrol to threaten City Sightseeing with license revocation and even criminal prosecution if it does not act on the problems within 120 days.

Officials have said the double-decker bus that slammed into scaffolding on Nov. 13 at a construction site in Union Square apparently suffered mechanical failure. It had not been inspected by the CHP, and state regulators say it had not been registered as required by law.

The company’s chief executive officer, Christian Watts, said it had received the inspection report and fixed most of the identified problems on the day of the inspection.

“The remaining issues in the report are related to past paperwork procedures,” Watts said in a statement. “As a result, we have instituted operational changes to our internal processes to ensure future compliance.”

Meanwhile, Watts said, the company is awaiting word from the CHP and police about the investigation and analysis of the crash.

“We continue to cooperate fully with the investigators to help them find the answers they - and we - seek,” he said.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, https://www.sfgate.com


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